Restaurant: Pretzel Boy’s
Address: 39 Brookline Blvd., Havertown, PA 19083
Rating: (out of 5 stars): ★★★
Style: Pretzel shop
Food: Numerous incarnations of pretzels, custard and ices
Atmosphere: Brightly lit, large service counter and a high table for standing and snacking
Parking: Metered street and lot parking
Service: Friendly and casual
Price Range: Most items are under $5
Unique Feature: Mustard bar
Before the advent of Auntie Anne’s and the availability of soft pretzels at every convenience store north of the Mason Dixon line there was the Philly soft pretzel. Baked without much more than flour, water and salt the soft pretzel is as symbolic of Philadelphia as the Liberty Bell or the beloved cheesesteak. It’s no surprise that in the city of Brotherly Love and the surrounding suburbs there is no dearth of pretzel shops.
These businesses do not serve up fancy Bavarian pretzels or ones adorned with exotic cheeses or rare spices. They serve up Philly pretzels. While some have expanded their menus to include flavored pretzels, diminutive nuggets and pretzel “sticks,” the hearty dough and sprinkling of coarse salt remain intact.
Pretzel Boy’s serves up Philly soft pretzels in a no frills environment where the only seemingly fancy attribute is the mustard bar.
Despite my vow to eat fewer carbs and more vegetables, I found myself standing in front of a carb bonanza that is the counter at Pretzel Boy’s. Post yoga and so hungry, I was inclined to get one of everything but held myself back. I ordered a regular pretzel, a sesame pretzel, a cinnamon sugar stick and an order of pups (miniature hot dogs wrapped in pretzel dough).
The pretzel tasted good. The exterior of the pretzel was nice and crisp, while the bright white interior was dense and filling. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the pretzel was warm! For my taste the sprinkling of salt was a bit too generous but that was easily remedied.
The sesame pretzel was an interesting twist (pun fully intended) on a familiar food. The small seeds added a nuttiness and vague Asian flavor to the pretzel. While the plain pretzel paired well with the yellow mustard, the sesame pretzel went nicely with the honey mustard.
The cinnamon sugar pretzel stick was delicious but I could taste so much butter. This pretzel tasted exactly like cinnamon toast. With each bite, I cracked through a buttery, sugary, cinnamon crust before I got to the warm pretzel underneath. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted great, but it was almost like dessert.
There were no pups ready to go so the counter gentleman donned some gloves and made some for me—fresh, which was so nice of him. The piping hot pups emerged in a nostalgic red and white checkered cardboard container. I excitedly tried them in all the mustards and while the yellow and Dusseldorf mustards were tasty, the clear winner was the spicy and sweet brown deli mustard.
The savory sausages, hearty dough and brown mustard all combined in a wonderful combination of flavors. Ideal for game day or a quick snack, these pups could convert even the staunchest of the anti-carb crusaders.
The service was friendly and casual. I already mentioned how my pups were made to order and a gentleman I believed to be the owner made sure to greet me and wish me a Happy New Year on his way out.
I’d take a Pretzel Boy’s pretzel over everyone’s dear old Auntie Anne’s any day of the week and twice on Sundays!
Click here for the website.
Click here for the menu.